Top Taxpayers in the Philippines

taxpayer calculatorTaxes are the lifeblood of our country. Without tax collections, our nation won’t be able to construct bridges, streets, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructures for the public consumption. Without taxes, our government agencies and offices won’t run to serve the citizens. Thus, the taxpayers, who are the source of our national revenue and financial budget, should be taken care of. They should not be harassed, humiliated, and be deprived of justice. Speaking of taxpayers, did you ever become curious of who are the top taxpayers in the Philippines?

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has just published in their website the lists of top 500 individual and non-individual taxpayers for the taxable year 2010.

Top Individual Taxpayers for 2010

The top individual taxpayer in the Philippines for the tax year 2010 is Vicente Tan Lao. According to the BIR list, Mr. Lao reported a total taxable income of more than P235 million. With that income, he has paid more than P75 million of regular income tax to the Philippines for the taxable year 2010.

Famous Filmmaker Carlo J. Caparas is the third highest individual taxpayer in the list, who earned more than P205 million taxable income and paid more than P65 million income tax to the Philippines on 2010.

Boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who is facing disputes with the BIR over his alleged failure in paying taxes, only placed 135th on the list of individual taxpayers for 2010. According to the BIR, he filed his income tax with a total taxable income of more than half a billion pesos, an income more than twice higher than Mr. Lao income – the top taxpayer in the list. Pacquiao paid more than P9 million of income tax to the Philippines in 2010. For a P500 million taxable income, an income tax of P9 million seems to be questionable. However, it must also be understood that most of his income are earned in the US and not in the Philippines. Hence, there must be a significant amount of tax credits from US income tax payments, which he claimed against his income tax to arrive with a lower income tax payable to the Philippines. Hmmm, I hope Pacquiao’s fights are held here in the Philippines so our country may somehow earn from those fights.

Popular celebrity and TV Host Kris Aquino, whose complete registered name on the list is Kristina Bernadette Aquino Yap, lands at no. 17, with P101 million total taxable income and P32.3 million income tax payments for the tax year 2010. With this list, Kris is considered the highest paid celebrity for 2010.

Other celebrities on the list are Willie Revillame (21st place with P26 million in taxes), Sharon Cuneta, (P16 million in taxes), Sarah Geronimo (P15 million), Piolo Pascual (P13 million), Marian Rivera (P11 million), John Lloyd Cruz (P10 million), Claudine Barretto (P10 million), and Boy Abunda (P9.2 million)

If you are expecting for the Filipinos who where listed in the Forbes list of billionaires to be on the top of the list, then you will see nothing on the top 10. Ayala Corp.’s Jaime Zobel de Ayala only placed 23rd, while brother Fernando Zobel de Ayala is at the 37th place. Mall tycoon and richest Filipino Henry Sy Sr. is only in 61st place. Telecoms executive Manuel Pangilinan is in the 43rd position, while beer magnate Lucio Tan is only in the 117th place. If you are wondering why this happens, it might be because their income or earnings are retained by their owned corporations. Also remember that corporations are separate and distinct legal entities, and are also considered separate taxpayers. Nevertheless, we can’t still tell what the whole truth is.

To see the full list of the top 500 individual taxpayers for the year 2010, please visit this page from the BIR.

Top Non-individual / Corporate taxpayers for 2010

For the largest corporate taxpayers in the Philippines for 2010, Smart Communications, Inc. is the highest non-individual taxpayer with total tax due of more than P11.4 billion. According to the BIR, Smart reported gross sales of more than P88.7 billion during 2010. Smart’s income tax due is P7 billion higher compared to the second highest corporate taxpayer Chevron Malampaya LLC, which reported P4.378 billion of income tax due for the year 2010.

To see the full list of the top 500 non-individual taxpayers for the year 2010, please visit this page from the BIR.

BIR total tax collection in 2010

Do you want to know how much money did the BIR collect from the taxpayers on 2010? According to BIR 2010 annual report, the BIR has collected a total of P822 billion taxes from the taxpayers. P489 billion of this collection came from taxes on net income and profit. P280 billion came from companies or corporate enterprises and P167 billion came from individuals. From the P167 billion income and profit tax collected from individuals, P135 billion came from withholding taxes on wages, which also means taxes from employees.

The taxes collected by the BIR, together with the other revenues collected by the government (i.e., revenues from Bureau of Customs (BOC) and other government offices) go to the Bureau of Treasury (BOT) account, the principal custodian of financial assets of the National Government. The BIR, BOC and BOT are all supervised by the Department of Finance, the government department responsible for supervision, direction and control of the government revenue collection.

Reference: Bureau of Internal Revenue 2010 annual report, Bureau of Treasury, and Department of Finance

Victorino Abrugar is a retired CPA practitioner, a blogger, speaker, and an entrepreneur. He's the President of Optixor, Inc., a digital marketing company based in the Philippines. Follow him on Twitter at @viclogic.

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